We all know warranties aren’t the easiest (or most exciting) documents to read through. There are often a lot of details, and fine print included that can be hard to understand, leaving many to wonder: what does the warranty actually cover? Am I making sure my purchase is protected? And is there anything I might be missing?
To make it as easy as possible, we’ve read warranty documents for the top inverter equipment manufacturers–and talked to them to confirm what is and isn’t included–covering the most critical aspects of each in a series of articles. In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about the warranty from one of the top global microinverter suppliers: APsystems.
This is an unbiased review: EnergySage is not paid to review brands or products, nor do we earn money from affiliate advertising in this article. The content of this blog is based on research and information available at the time of writing. Learn more about our mission and how we make money as a company.
Highlights of APsystems’ microinverter limited warranty
- APsystems covers defective microinverters with a limited warranty for 10 years with the option to pay to extend it to 25 years.
- You can transfer the APsystems limited warranty to a new owner if you submit the request form within 30 days of transferring ownership.
- The APsystems warranty does cover shipping any replacement product, if needed, but doesn’t cover any labor costs associated with removing or installing new equipment.
- APsystems also offers a three-year limited warranty on its Energy Communications Unit (ECU) gateways.
Visit the EnergySage Marketplace to compare solar-plus-storage options from your local installers.
Quick overview: APsystems’ history and warranty
APsystems was founded in 2010 and is now a global leader in developing and manufacturing microinverters. They have the second-highest global market share among independent microinverter suppliers.
The company prides itself on continuously innovating technology solutions to optimize performance, which bodes well for solar output and efficiency. In September 2021, they unveiled a new microinverter which they tout as the most powerful dual-module microinverter in the world. APsystems’ microinverters enable individual monitoring for each module in the solar panel array, potentially boosting the system’s efficiency by as much as 20 percent.
APsystems’ warranty at a glance
|CATEGORY||APSYSTEMS COVERAGE||INDUSTRY STANDARD|
|Product (inverter)||10 years (extendable to 25 years)||10 years for string inverters, 25 years for microinverters|
|Product (power optimizer equipment – for string inverters only)||Not applicable||25 years|
|Product (communication equipment)||3 years||5 years|
|Shipping of parts||Yes (but no import duties or taxes, if applicable)||Yes|
|Transferability||Yes, no fee, must submit form within 30 days of transfer.||Transfer fee|
|Extended warranty offering||Yes, to 25 years for an additional cost||No|
Also known as a materials warranty, an inverter product warranty covers the integrity of the equipment itself. If your solar inverter has a defect, mechanical issue, or experiences unreasonable wear and tear, that’s where your product warranty comes into play.
APsystems offers two separate product warranties for its inverter technologies: the inverter itself and the communications equipment (which provides wireless communication between the inverter and your monitoring platform). The inverter comes with a 10-year warranty – though you can extend it up to 25 years for a fee – whereas the communications equipment (the ECU gateway) warranty lasts three years.
Inverter replacement: what happens if your product is no longer available?
Let’s say you have a solar inverter that dies after nine years – inverter technology continues to advance, and by then, APsystems may have a brand new product stock. Will they be able to replace your broken inverter?
Should this happen to you, if APsystems is replacing a discontinued product or part, they may use a similar piece of a subsequent design. If they aren’t able to replace it because the product is no longer available, they’ll provide a refund of an amount equal to the actual value of the defective product (based on the value determined at the time of the discovery of the defect).
Does APsystems offer extended warranties?
Need more protection for peace of mind? Many solar inverter companies offer extended warranties for their products. Depending on the company and the product, an extended warranty may come at an extra cost or only be available for specific installers who have been certified and endorsed by the manufacturer.
APsystems does offer an extended warranty that essentially can increase the standard 10-year warranty by 15 years to give you a total of 25 years on your warranty. You can expect the warranty extension to cost an additional 10 percent or so of your total microinverter cost. However, it’s important to note that if APsystems doesn’t repair or replace the defective product, they may instead provide a credit towards purchasing a replacement APsystems product (instead of the refund you’ll get in the original warranty). That credit is based on a calculation that considers the value at the time.
More often than not, solar installers are the sole party responsible for providing workmanship–or labor–warranties for your solar installation – they’re performing the actual installation work, after all! However, it’s becoming increasingly common for manufacturers to offer an extra safeguard by tacking on their own workmanship warranty coverage. When applicable, it’s typically only an option if you work with specific installers in a manufacturer’s certified network.
APsystems does not currently offer a workmanship warranty to their customers.
How to make a warranty claim with APsystems: shipping & labor costs
If you experience any defects or performance issues with your equipment, APsystems will be there to help.
To start, if you notice an issue with your inverter, your first phone call should be to your original installer: having designed and installed your system, they are the most equipped to diagnose (and fix!) any potential issue. If you can’t get in touch with your installer, or the company has gone out of business, APsystems has an online directory where you can find an installer near you.
Once the installer has identified any issue eligible for a warranty claim, they can help you begin the return merchandise authorization (RMA) process with APsystems. In some situations, an APsystems technical support representative might be able to evaluate and remotely troubleshoot the problem without even visiting your home. Some issues will need to be solved in the field, but if an in-field inspection doesn’t solve the problem, APsystems may have you ship your inverter to their laboratory for diagnostics and repair or replacement.
When it comes time for any repairs or replacements, there are two additional warranty considerations you’ll want to keep in mind: labor and shipping costs.
Labor costs for diagnostics, repairs, or replacements
Many manufacturers cover replacement parts at no extra cost but don’t pay for the labor costs necessary to re-install that equipment. The APsystems microinverter limited warranty doesn’t cover any labor costs related to removing the defective product or re-installing the repaired or replacement product. If APsystems repairs or replaces a defective product, the limited warranty continues on the repaired or replacement product for the remainder of the original warranty period.
Shipping of parts
Similarly, not all equipment manufacturers will pay the costs to get equipment to you. APsystems will pay for standard shipping to get a new or replacement part to you – but if you want expedited shipping, you’ll have to cover it.
Comparing product and power warranty terms: the EnergySage Buyer’s Guide
What are some of the most popular APsystems products on the market today? Using the EnergySage Buyer’s Guide, you can compare top solar inverters’ warranties, performance, and aesthetics. There’s a lot in there, so we recommend using the filter and sorting functionalities to find the right inverter for you.
Limitations and exceptions
Every warranty comes with limitations and exceptions, including APsystems. These limitations aren’t meant to make it difficult for you or other customers to take advantage of their offering; at the end of the day, they just need to protect themselves from unreasonable claims.
Here are some other things that your APsystems warranty doesn’t cover:
- Damage as a result of misuse, abuse, accident, negligence, or failure to maintain their products
- Any damage from power surges, lightning, fire, flood, pest damage, accident, the action of third parties, or other events beyond APsystems’ reasonable control or not arising from normal operating conditions
- Any defect in, or damage to, any product that not purchased from APsystems or an authorized APsystems reseller
- Any product moved from its original installation location or disassembled, tampered with, or modified in any way
If you’re looking for any additional information on the APsystems warranty, check out their online warranty library.
Other warranty considerations and how APsystems stacks up
- Transferability: As long as your equipment remains in place, you can transfer your APsystems warranties to new owners of your system at no cost by submitting the Warranty Transfer Form.
- Bankability: APsystems’ microinverters undergo rigorous factory testing, evaluation, and field tracking to ensure top quality and dependability. They also design their microinverters to last for 25 years – the product warranty term covered by many solar panel warranties.
- Escrows/insurance policies: APsystems does not have insurance policies or an escrow that ensures they will uphold their warranties if they go out of business. However, they have established themselves as a global leader in the microinverter over the last 10+ years.
- Eligibility: Some manufacturers require customers to connect to their monitoring system permanently for their warranty to be valid, which is the case with APsystems. If you installed your system after 2021, your microinverters must continuously be connected to the Internet via the APsystems communications equipment to be eligible for the warranty. For systems installed prior to 2021, if your system doesn’t include an ECU gateway, you won’t be eligible for remote troubleshooting, meaning you’ll have to uninstall and ship any potentially defective equipment directly to the APsystems laboratory for testing.
- Customer reviews: Another critical aspect of understanding a manufacturer’s warranty offering is investigating how customers feel about their equipment and services. Any warranty can look promising on paper, but how the installer or manufacturer performs when honoring their warranty is also critically important. You can read APsystems’ reviews here.
The best way to compare solar inverter options – warranties and all!
The key to finding the right solar panel system for your home is comparing multiple quotes from solar installers. Using the EnergySage Marketplace, you can find local solar installers near you and make easy side-by-side comparisons of all your solar options, including equipment. By shopping around first, you can find the right option at the right price.
If you have a preference for one type of equipment over another–APsystems or otherwise–note it in your EnergySage account when you sign up so installers can quote you accordingly.